On Saturday, November 23, 2013, the City of Tustin held a Ribbon Cutting on the newly built bridge over Edinger Avenue, to celebrate the opening of the Tustin Ranch Road Extension project. The public was invited to participate in the celebration and pedestrian and bicycles were welcome to take a historic walk or ride on the road before its official opening to vehicles. The road itself opened to vehicles on Sunday, November 24, 2013.
In September 2011, the City held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the beginning of the project. Tustin has made a huge commitment & investment in this much needed project. This has been long awaited by both residents of Tustin and those regionally who use north/south routes through the County. Tustin Ranch Road is an essential thoroughfare as Tustin and Tustin Legacy continue to grow.
"The Tustin Ranch Road Extension is an incredible example of teamwork and cooperation. Most importantly, it could not have been accomplished without the support of our Tustin community," said Mayor Al Murray. "This project completes a key corridor and will greatly improve traffic flow and bring much needed mobility relief to our residents and neighbors."
The $40 million road stretches 1.4 miles and connects Walnut Avenue through to Warner Avenue. Prior to construction of this segment, Tustin Ranch Road ended at Walnut Avenue at the former Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) from the north, and at the District Shopping Center from the south.
As early as 1970, transportation planning efforts recognized the need for an extension of the (then) Jamboree Road (later) to become the Tustin Ranch Road Extension, through the Marine Corps Air Station. After the City of Irvine was incorporated in 1971, a general plan land use circulation element was adopted which reflected this extension through MCAS Tustin.
Discussions continued between the City of Tustin, the Marine Corps, the City of Irvine, and the County of Orange regarding the alignment of the road through MCAS Tustin. In August of 1981, the cities of Irvine and Tustin completed amendments to their respective general plans. The amendments included changes to land use and circulation plans and recommended municipal planning and corporate boundary modifications. With the final MCAS base closure in 1996, this project was then in position to move forward.
In 2011 bids for services were collected and Phase 1 of construction began and Sandoval Pipeline Engineering was awarded the contract. Phase 1 was completed in August of 2012. Phase 2 of construction began in 2012 with the contract going to R.J. Noble Company. Phase 2 included: utilities installation, sound wall construction, bridge work, street improvements, and landscaping.